Soup's On already on calendar for Family Day 2021

Soup's On committee member Steve Brent is seen here with three Salvation Army employees, Pam Pillon, left, pathway of hope case worker, Jamie Vandevenne, housing caseworker and Janelle Colbourne, right, youth caseworker, during the second annual Soups On fundraiser held at the Spirit and Life Centre in Chatham on Monday. Ellwood Shreve/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network Ellwood Shreve / Ellwood Shreve/The Daily News

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It appears organizers of the Soup’s On fundraiser will have a standing date on Family Day for years to come.

The second annual event attracted hundreds more people than its inaugural edition, which raised $8,100 last year for Chatham Hope Haven, a local men’s shelter.

The hosts of Soup’s On – the Catholic Women’s Leagues and Knights of Columbus councils from the Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes, decided to include the Salvation Army Chatham-Kent Ministries as a beneficiary this year along with Hope Haven.

I think it’s kind of blown it out of the water,” said Soup’s On committee member Steve Brent of the second event.

He is interested in seeing what the fundraising total will be this year, saying he hopes the final amount will exceed $10,000.

The event grew this year, with more than 30 restaurants donating soup, up from 20 restaurants last year.

The bounty we had from the restaurants is amazing,” Brent said. This year, we ended up with probably 50 more volunteers than we had last years, so many hands make light work.”

The Salvation Army and Hope Haven also had representation on the Soup’s On committee.

“We’re very thankful that we’ve been asked to be here and be included with Chatham Hope Haven to help the community,” Jami Vandevenne, a housing caseworker with Salvation Army, said. We are always so grateful and excited whenever that happens.”

Vandevenne said the Salvation Army’s share of the proceeds will be allocated to purchase food for its food bank program, which is in need of having some shelves filled at this time of year.

“When other groups support us, it’s really great. It just makes it so much easier, and we’re happy to have partnerships,” added Wanda Bell, co-ordinator of communications and volunteers at Hope Haven.

She said the second Soup’s On was another “fabulous event” and organizers are really excited about how well it turned out.

Bell said many people who came out for Soup’s On also took the opportunity to take a tour of the men’s shelter, located across the street from where the fundraiser was held at the Spirit and Life Centre.

She added it was an opportunity to showcase a new $50,000 kitchen for the shelter that was donated by Unifor.

Brent is glad to see such a high level of community support for two great community organizations.

They both serve a part of the population we need to pay a lot more attention to,” he said.